In a New Study.. Maat Recommends Activating the Principle of Electoral Justice in the Upcoming Democratic Republic of the Congo General Election
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights issued a study entitled "The Democratic Republic of the Congo Elections between Evaluative Visions & Governance Approaches", with the aim of shedding light on the Democratic Congo elections scheduled for December 2023. The study addressed four main axes.
In Axis I, Maat has clarified the features of the Congolese electoral system and analyzed its reality, as the electoral practices of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are based on constitutional, legal and national entitlements mentioned in the Congolese Constitution of 2006. The early signs of the electoral path were manifested before independence, starting from 1957 after the creation of what is known as "Electoral Consultations" or "Municipal Elections". The Democratic Republic of the Congo witnesses many, intermittent, and interactive electoral experiences amidst its security and political contexts as well as the election law issued in July 2022.
In Axis II, Maat monitored the paths of the 2023 Congolese elections, as the national electoral calendar refers to holding presidential elections in conjunction with the election of 500 members of the National Assembly and members of regional councils, as well as the implementation of the first experience of electing 300 municipal councils according to the Constitution issued in 2006. Maat also announced its willingness to host 6 other electoral events for the year 2024, 5 of which are indirect.
Maat highlighted the challenges that could face the 2023 Congolese elections, in terms of lack of political confidence related to the elections, weak registration processes, and controversy over the exclusion of competitors, electoral financing challenges, electoral violence, escalating security complexities, as well as the escalation of tribal divisions and hate speech.
Maat also addressed the entrances to the governance of the Congolese elections for the year 2023, as the proper administration of elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires a set of mechanisms and entrances, which can be achieved through the secure registration of voters and the safety of those in charge of elections, voter witnesses and observers.
For his part, Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and President of Maat, recommended the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue peace process in areas where armed groups operate and have control over political life, and work to ensure the political participation of minorities, indigenous peoples and internally displaced persons. Okeil also recommended activating the safe intervention of the police and security forces, respecting human rights rules and standards by activating the principle of electoral justice, enhancing media capabilities and access thereto, and voter education.